Kick off your year the right way with our top 10 tips for better mental and physical health…
- Make time for breakfast
Start your day with a balanced breakfast to boost your energy levels and fuel your body and mind for the day ahead. Scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, porridge and smoothies are healthy brekkies that will keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you can’t face eating early in the morning, try packing a light snack pack to munch on when you feel peckish – fruit, nuts and protein bars are all good breakfast-on-the-go options. Discover more ways to eat well here.
- Build self-care into your daily routine
Self-care is anything you do to take care of your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing – it’s all about doing the stuff that makes you feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed. Set aside time every day to do something that helps you relax and unwind. Go for a walk, read a book, lounge on the couch with your favourite TV series or treat yourself to a long soak in a bubbly bath. Discover lots of self-care ideas here.
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
You don’t have to be a natural writer or the best speller to reap the benefits of keeping a diary. Spilling your worries, thoughts and fears onto paper can help you work through the stuff that keeps you up at night. It’s also a great way to record your achievements and set mini goals to keep you focused and motivated. A positivity journal with prompts and activities is a great tool to keep you on track – discover our pick of the best journals here.
- Embrace exercise
We all know that exercise is important for physical health, but it also works wonders for our mental health. You don’t have to sign up to a million classes or dedicate hours in the gym to feel the benefits – a daily walk outdoors with the dog or a quick workout in front of the TV can give you a rush of feel-good endorphins and blows off the cobwebs, leaving you feeling less stressed, depressed and anxious. The NHS recommend children aged 5-18 should aim to do at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a walk, every week. Read more about the benefits of exercise here.
- Get a better night’s sleep
We need around 8-10 hours of sleep every night to give our bodies the chance to fully rest and regenerate, ready for the next day. However, many of us get nowhere near that amount of shut eye. Try to adopt a better night-time routine to help your body and mind prepare for a restful night: reduce your screen time in the evening, keep your bedroom cool and comfortable, and avoid caffeine. Discover more ways to improve your sleep here.
- Learn how to say “no”
This one goes out to the people pleasers in particular – it’s OK to say “no” every now and again. If you’re asked to do something you don’t feel comfortable with or an invite to a party is filling you with anxiety, take a moment to really consider your response before automatically agreeing to everything. Put your mental health and wellbeing first. Read more about looking after your own mental wellbeing here.
- Drink plenty of water
Hydrate for happiness! You should be aiming to drink 6-8 large glasses of water a day. If you find it really difficult to drink that much water, why not try eating some of your daily recommended intake instead? Many fruits and vegetables have a high-water content, including melon, cucumbers, lettuce and celery – and they’re great portable snacks! Read more about nutrition and diet here.
- Learn to love yourself
When you master self-acceptance, you learn to let go of the things you can’t change and love the things that make you truly unique. 2024 is the time to bin the negative noise and build up your self-esteem, body image and confidence! Learn how to be kinder to yourself here.
- Try something new!
Learning more about the world around us or trying something new can be exciting and challenging and helps to boost your confidence. Push yourself out of your comfort zone – check out local clubs or sign yourself up to an evening course to learn a new skill or hobby. Discover 10 new things to try today here.
- Clear your socials
Social media can have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Often, it’s an exhausting world of constant comparisons and pressure to be “Insta-perfect”. Do yourself a favour and spring clean your socials – unfollow any accounts or individuals who make you feel any type of negative way and find new, positive influences to flood your streams. Remove any platforms that make you feel stressed, anxious or depressed, and try to reduce how much time you spend online every day. Find out more about sorting your socials here.